Prescription Cannabis Users Fear Discrimination at Work, A New Report Reveals


A new study indicates a worrying trend in UK workplaces – discrimination against prescription cannabis users, possibly breaching the Equality Act. What rights do you need to be aware of as an employer and an employee?

The Cannabis Industry Council Report

The Cannabis Industry Council (CIC) has published an enlightening report titled ‘The Use of Prescription Cannabis at Work’. The document sheds light on the hurdles prescription cannabis users face, offering indispensable advice to employers and employees alike.

Discrimination Cases

The increase in discrimination cases against users of cannabis medication in job interviews and the workplace forms the report’s backbone. This occurs despite the Equality Act 2010, mandating employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees suffering from disabilities, often the case with prescription cannabis users. The report underscores a worrying discrepancy in following this regulation when dealing with these patients.

Key Issues

Intricate issues have come up concerning vaping, possession of prescribed cannabis flowers at work, and drug testing. Co-authors of the report, Mohammad Wasway, founder of The Sanskara Platform, and Guy Coxall of Seed our Future, observed numerous instances where patients were treated wrongly and harassed by their employers over their medication.

Co-authors’ Statement

“We have heard from many concerned and vulnerable patients who have been harassed and mistreated by their employers simply for taking their prescription medication. We urge businesses to step up to the plate to ensure the well-being of their workers with practical and fair solutions leading to their increased productivity,” Wasway and Coxall stated.

Since 2018, patients have been legally allowed to possess and consume cannabis medication prescribed by specialist doctors. However, employers disregarding their employees’ workplace rights risk employment tribunal prosecutions, warns the report.

Key Takeaways:

  • Employers may violate the Equality Act due to the unfair treatment of cannabis prescription users.
  • The Cannabis Industry Council advocates for medical cannabis patient rights protection, calling for employer action.
  • The prescription of cannabis medicine has been legal since 2018.
  • Employers who infringe upon these workplace rights risk legal action.

Tactics and Guidance

The report further outlines tactics to manage employee cannabis consumption, offering comprehensive guidance for employers and sharing case studies from different workplace scenarios.

CIC Chair’s Statement

Chair of the CIC, Elisabetta Faenza, stated: “The Cannabis Industry Council is committed to upholding workplace rights for prescription cannabis patients, grounded in law, medical considerations, and basic human empathy.”

British Cannabis’ Stand

British Cannabis™ emphasizes the need for clear regulations regarding medical cannabis use in the workplace. It believes in treating prescription cannabis users the same as any other patient, securing their rights under the Equality Act 2010. With this report, employers and employees alike are well-equipped to navigate the issues surrounding cannabis medicine in the professional sphere, promoting a fairer, more inclusive workplace.

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